“BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE”
Adrian, a young, obsessive Romanian filmmaker, wants Anne Hathaway to appear in a movie that he is making and manipulates three local actresses to help him make a movie to that end. “Be My Cat” is a movie about doing and the driving need to create both horror and realism. The story and action are improvised and this improvisation between Adrian (Adrian Tofei, the director of the film) and actresses Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton, and Alexandra Stroe is natural and imperfect. These are actors playing characters who are playing characters, right down to their pauses, repetitions, and misspoken words. It’s the lack of perfection found in actors playing characters who are playing characters (yes, you read that correctly) that provides the film with a sense of authenticity. The line between what is real and what isn’t becomes so unclear that the line between performance art, criminal activity, and reality is blurred.
Adrian Tofei the filmmaker and actor is not a murderer obsessed with Anne Hathaway in reality but here he plays Adrian the filmmaker and actor who is an obsessive murderer. He subsequently plays the role of Adrian, a murderous man obsessed with an actress in the movie that Adrians are making. Adrian Tofei, spent a year getting into character, effectively becoming the Adrian we see on film and it is nearly impossible to separate the three Adrians from each other.
We know that the first Adrian Tofei, didn’t murder any of the actresses to make the film yet there is a scene here that involves the use of chloroform, that is so realistic that it caused me to pause and wonder exactly how far the performers went. We can only get through the various layers of reality near the climax of the film where a splatter of blood on a sheet looks too light in color to be real. There is a vulnerability to be found in each of these performances that keeps us uncomfortable and lets us know that none of what we see is real.
Tofei brings us a startling reflection of humanity’s fragile relationship with art, celebrity, and his or her own mental state yet does so minus exploitation. Adrian, as the obsessive murderer, is a sociopath and shows all of the characteristics— he dislikes people, kills small animals, and seemingly has no conscience. He uses the camera as a person, constantly speaking it as if it is Anne Hathaway, yet it is the audience that is seeing through the camera lens.
As a result we become Anne, and everything Adrian does is for our benefit. We help give him his idea of Anne Hathaway as cat and as leading lady in Adrian’s mind and this adds to his creativity and psychosis. The horror here is in taking the familiar and stretching it into something new: a mirror held in front of a mirror to create infinitely strange realities. This is a brilliant film and a new kind of horror movie that must be seen. To say anymore would ruin a viewing experience so take my word for it and have a look.